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DeSantis Signs Bill to Ban Pornographic Material in Schools

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Last Friday, FL Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 1467 into law which requires school districts to be transparent in the selection of library instruction and reading material in the curriculum. The governor says the legislation aims to preserve the rights of parents to make decisions about what materials their children are exposed to in school.

In addition, the bill sets 12-year term limits for school board members. “In Florida, our parents have every right to be involved in their children’s education. We are not going to let politicians deny parents the right to know what is being taught in our schools. I am proud to sign this legislation that ensures curriculum transparency,” said DeSantis.

Senate President Wilton Simpson highlighted that “while teachers, school administrators, and school board members have a tremendous amount of authority over what and how our kids are taught in school, at the end of the day, parents—not schools—are responsible for raising children.”

El gobernador propone transparencia en el plan de estudios de las escuelas en Florida (Archive).
Governor proposes transparency in Florida’s school curriculum (Archive).

Parents back curriculum decision

The Governor’s Office explained that the bill will require that school districts convene for the purpose of selecting instructional materials, to announce the meetings, and have them open to the public. “The school districts must also provide access to all materials, at least 20 days prior to the school board taking official action on the instructional materials. The Department of Education (DOE) will be required to publish a list of materials that have been removed or discontinued by school boards as a result of an objection, and distribute the list to school districts for their consideration,” DeSantis’ office noted.

The law arrived amidst complaints from parents who claim the books contain “pornographic” material. “Recently, I discovered one of the most disturbing pornographic books in my child’s high school in Orange County,” pointed out Alicia Farrant, an Orange County parent.

“After some research, I learned that an alarming percentage of high school and middle school library books contain similar material. It is appalling that the removal of pornographic and sexually explicit books is even cause for debate. I am thankful for a Governor who has the courage to lead with integrity and to partner with parents as we strive to raise the standard of excellence in our education system. Our students deserve high quality, academically rich books at their fingertips, and under no circumstance should they have access to graphic, pornographic material at school,” she added.

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